A Glimpse at the Life of a Stationery Rep

Well, hello there!  Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Carina with Crow and Canary.  I’m an independent stationery rep and all-around champion of modern, indie designers.  I’m simply delighted to have the honor of guest posting on Oh So Beautiful Paper.  Being immersed in the stationery world, OSBP really is the go-to blog for paper lovers.  Below is a little glimpse into my business.

My day typically starts like many small business owners, trying to tame my email in-box and striving to strike a balance between the things I need to accomplish on my appointment calendar/to-do list and my enthusiasm for social networking – namely Twitter, but I also Blog and Facebook when time allows.

NSS badge and name tag

Blog Calling Cards

Badge from the 2010 National Stationery Show and custom name tag by Moth and Squirrel (top) Blog calling cards (bottom).

This is my fifth year in business, so I have the pleasure and fortune of being approached by a multitude of designers about repping new lines on a near daily basis.  Going to my mailbox is particularly fun, on a good day I’ll be laden with boxes containing new samples, catalogs and random line submissions.  It’s quite inspiring to see what’s new and I never tire of pouring over the latest and greatest from the awesome designers I represent.

Birddog Press Kit

Two Trick Pony Rep Kit

Enticing press/rep kit from BirdDog Press (above) and Two Trick Pony (below).

I frequently meet with retailers to show them new samples and seasonal cards and gift items that will soon line their shelves.  I am incredibly lucky to work with a wonderful bunch of buyers and shop owners including Perch in San Francisco, Yolk in Los Angeles and Tilde in Portland, the list really goes on and on.  One of the biggest challenges of my job is not spending my entire budget at the awesome boutiques and bookstores that I call on – I really think of it as an occupational hazard.

Yellow Owl Workshop Cards

Austin Press Cards

Cards by Yellow Owl Workshop (above) and Austin Press (below) at Prize in Ashland, Oregon.


Another excellent perk of my job is the amount of traveling I do in the name of my business.  I’ve been to all of the major wholesale gift shows on the West Coast and make the journey to New York at least once a year for the National Stationery Show or NYIGF.  Occasionally, I’m able to time my trips with other fun events such as the Renegade Craft Fairs or Unique LA.  In 2009, I was lucky enough to be in San Francisco during the SFCB annual event: The Road­works Steam­roller Print­ing Street Fair.  It was a blast and I loved chatting with some of the printers that participated.


Roadworks Prints

Large linoleum cuts at The Road­works Steam­roller Print­ing Street Fair.

At the end of the day, I count myself as quite lucky to have a job that I love so much.  Perpetuating the act of sending real mail in a digital era is not as challenging as it sounds.  Because, really… Who doesn’t love to receive a Birthday or Thank You card in their mailbox?  I’ve yet to meet a person that can say that a lovely card doesn’t bring a sense of joy to their day.

“A Glimpse at the Life of a Stationery Rep” is a guest post by Carina Murray of Crow & Canary

  1. I’m a stationery retailer and I can honestly say Carina is an extraordinary rep and an even more extraordinary person. Carina, when are you opening up your Midwest branch?

  2. Thank goodness for Carina she is awesome and very supportive. I am flipping out over Two Trick Pony’s press kit…is that an actual horseshoe? Sold!

  3. So awesome to get a glimpse into Carina’s world! I concur that she is an exceptional sales rep who has done wonders for us. And yes, Gwendolyn…that IS a real horse shoe! 🙂

  4. Yay! Carina is amazing! I don’t know what Pie Bird Press would do without her. 🙂

  5. I know why you love it so much,Carina… I started my career as an independent rep before I was a retailer and finally a manufacturer and still miss toting my bag around!

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